Friday, November 23, 2012
This place offers much more than great weather and city amenities…
It’s a country with mighty mountain ranges, tropical rainforests, mirror-smooth crater lakes and smoking volcanoes. It’s got hundreds of miles of unspoiled Pacific beaches, vibrant colonial towns and culturally-rich cities.
It’s a hit with retirees but it’s also popular with young surfers. It’s a low-cost destination for travelers and one where expats can afford top-notch healthcare. If you’re looking for a second or retirement home it’s one of the best-value locations on the Pathfinder beat.
I’m talking about Ecuador. I’ve racked up thousands of miles scouting this country. I’ve trekked its coffee-growing highlands, hummingbird-filled cloud forests and sleepy highland villages. I’ve checked out colonial towns, modern cities and buzzing coastal resorts.
And I’ve seen pretty much every beach in the country.
In this week’s Pathfinder Alert, I’ll write about three hot spots in Ecuador and show you some exciting property picks. Let’s start today with Cuenca.
Set in Ecuador’s southern highlands, the city of Cuenca sits at 8,000 feet above sea level. It boasts a near-perfect climate with warm, sunny days and cool nights. You won’t need heating or air conditioning.
The city is a mix of historic homes, modern red-brick condos and quaint plazas. It’s home to 500,000 residents. It’s got the normal big-city amenities: a modern hospital, big supermarkets, banks and hardware stores. It’s got a wide choice of dining options, too. Most of them won’t break the bank. You can eat a three-course lunch in a cafe for as little as $3-$5.
But Cuenca offers much more than shopping and dining. It’s a center for culture and the arts. Cuenca hosts more than 200 events a year (many of them free), including art exhibitions; opera, jazz and film festivals; craft fairs and poetry readings.
That arty edge attracts many expats. They’re not all retirees. Many younger people move here to take part in the local arts scene.
It’s not just eating out that costs less in Cuenca. Property prices are very affordable too. Take a look at these three picks:
Pick #1: A two-bed two-bath city condo. Size: 936 square feet. It’s got nice finishes and a private yard with a great view over the city. List price: $84,900.
Pick #2: If you’d prefer a house check out this 4-bed 3.5-bath home. Size: 1800 square feet. You get a garage and nice features like granite in the kitchen. It’s 15 minutes outside the city in a quiet neighbourhood. List price: $120,000.
Pick #3: This condo will suit anyone that loves entertaining. Size: 1800 square feet plus a 750-square-foot terrace. It’s got three and bedrooms and bathrooms, a guest bathroom, a very large kitchen and a laundry area. The outside terrace with river views is perfect for get-togethers and barbeques. List price: $150,000.
If you’d like more details on any of these properties, contact local real estate agent Maribel Crespo here. Let her know which property you’re interested in and she’ll send you a full information pack.
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